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All true chymists and philosophers write that common corporeal gold is of not much use in man's body if it is only ingested as such, for no metallic body can be of use if it is not previously dissolved and reduced to the prima materia. We have an example in corals. The virtue of corals is not in the stone or the body but in their red color. If the corals are to release their power, a separation must first occur through a dissolution, and the redness must be separated from the body. Tincture the body is a shell which is left behind quite white, but the essence of the corals, which is quite red, afterwards perfectly accomplishes its effect in man's body because the obstruction has been separated from it (that is, from the stone and the body). Thus you should also deal with gold, silver, iron, lead, and other metals. If they are to bear fruit, they must likewise be separated from their bodies, that is, from their inner earth or slime, to allow their radical moisture to operate quite unhindered in man's body. Before, its power could not accomplish it, as the bodies were still held by their metallic slime and earth. Consequently, whoever wants to do something useful in medicine must see to it that he first dissolve and open his metallic body, then extract its soul and essence, and the work will then not result in no fruit.
In his book De praeparationibus medicamentorum Chymicorum (On the preparations of chymical medicaments), the author writes a short preface and thinks that all medicaments that come from the mineral family, apart from their legitimate preparation, are of no use, and so it is and it is the truth. Nevertheless, the old Arab and Greek physicians used metals thus raw and praised them highly, especially in the Electuariis de Gemmis, Exhilerante Galeni, although some, yes, the majority, doubt that this writing is one of Galen's. According to him, the metals, especially gold, rejoice man's heart and his vital spirits, drive away melancholy, and thus arouse in man a good and desired condition.
But as to give here my view as well, I am certain that raw metals, without prior preparation, help little or nothing at all. Our natural warmth is far too weak to be able to cook and prepare the metals in such a way that they can penetrate to the heart through the small veins and finally throughout the body, imparting their effect. Even so, some are convinced that metals are supposed to have been eaten and digested by chickens, just as Pliny wrote in his time that if a hen were fed with gold leaf, it would transform the gold into an essence in its stomach. And thus, if it were eaten, the chicken would bring man great strength and health. Some also believed that in our time and wrote wonders about it, how gold veins are supposed to have shown up in the chicken livers, which is ridiculous. I am surprised that it did not also lay golden eggs, like Aesop's hen! Then they would have become mighty rich people in a short time, especially if they had bred as many chickens as in Egypt, where they are hatched in a specially arranged oven, and 20,000 creep out all at once. They could have laid many eggs, thus producing several million gold for a poor man. Let anyone who wishes believe this, but experience has taught me differently. I have tried it at different times and very carefully attended to the chickens. But after several days of feeding the chickens with gold leaf, I found nothing but - salve honore - gilt muck. I had therefore spent my money very badly.
I had the chickens slaughtered, wanting to know if the gold seed in them had perhaps grown so big that they could henceforth excrete nothing but gold. But less than nothing was to be found, while the chickens had eaten more than two ducats of gold. I felt sad because my Art did not progress.
This, however, I have seen. A chicken belonging to a Count had swallowed a big pearl. When the chicken was cut open after several hours, the pearl was indeed found in the stomach but its lustre was all gone, as if it had been reverberated in the fire. This stands to reason, because pearls have not got the same fixation as metals, especially not as gold and silver, which are most indestructible. Experience proves that no element can destroy ( ), and although some Aquae Chrysuleae (gold waters) can corrode it and dissolve it into water, there is nevertheless no destruction. If the waters are again distilled off it, the ( ) is left just as good as before. But if a pearl is thus dissolved, it can no longer be brought into its body, that is, become a pearl, although many chat of it, pretending one could thus make one big pearl from many small ones. True, a body, also one of mother of pearl, can put be put together, but one cannot give it the right lustre of pearls.
( ), however, stays shining, also after its dissolution. I will admit, however, that gold did appear in the stomach of the chicken as if it had undergone an alteration, but it was in fact nothing except that it got ready for exit together with the other excrements. It seems so very incredible that gold-veins have supposedly been seen in the liver. From where did those veins come? Either they allowed the gold leaves to move entire to the liver through the veins, or they had to grow out of the blood - none of which can be true. If the gold had been digested, part of it would have turned into blood and should have been communicated further to the other organs by the liver. If the blood had then immediately reversed into gold, it would follow that the whole chicken, which takes its nourishment and increase in weight solely from the blood, would have turned into gold. One could then have wished that he had had chickens as big as aurochses or elephants - then the gold of the century would have appeared in the world.